Thursday, August 27, 2009

Another Family Update

Well, it's official. My baby boy is now an AWANA Cubbie! Registration Night was last night. Jonathan got to check out his classroom, meet all his teachers (whom fortunately he already knew from Vacation Bible School), say hi to all his friends, and have pizza and root beer. I think he's going to do well. The official first night of AWANA is next Wednesday, and that will be the true test. That night we'll actually have to line up, do pledges and have prayer time, and have game time as well as being in the classroom. The guy who leads the opening time as well as game time (Mr. T, as all the kids affectionately call him) is a large man with a loud, projecting voice. Jonthan used to freak out any time he so much as heard Mr. T's voice; he still keeps a close eye on Mr. T, but he'll give him a little fist bump every time they cross paths now. (Hey, at least we're making some kind of progress...") I'm teaching the Sparkies again this year, so I won't be far off he needs reassuring or something like that. I don't want to baby him, though. I want him to get used to being away from Mommy. Since my child is attending AWANA, I feel like I should be helping out the with program, but I don't want to hover over my child. I think he'll be better off if Mommy's not always in the same room all the time. It'll give him a little taste of freedom in a sense. He's just growing up so fast...

Jacob is still in the nursery for at least another year. Next Fall, he'll be big enough to go into a Sunday School class. Then it'll be his turn for Vacation Bible School, AWANA, and on down the line. We've got to get that boy walking, first, though. It won't be long; it's just a matter of when he wants to take off...

I found out a new law goes into effect this September. Turns out both my boys will have to be in car/booster seats until they hit about 4'9'' tall or turn 8 years old. I'm really not too happy about that one; I think that's a bit too long to be in a car seat. Maybe that's just because I wasn't in a car seat for that long, I don't know. But still...

The Coffee Memorial Blood Bus was at our church last night. John gives blood quite regularly and this year he talked me into giving, too. I figured if I could survive all the blood tests I had to endure during both my pregnancies, I could survive giving voluntarily. I went through all the personal questions, the physical, the finger prick--everything--only to find out that they couldn't take my blood. I'm about two pounds too light to donate. Isn't that crazy?!? I guess they just didn't want to run the risk of me passing out on them or something like that. I still got to cast my vote in the Boots Vs. Badges contest (Firefighters against Law Enforcement), though, and I got a spiffy T-Shirt. Incredibly, they wouldn't take John's blood, either. They said his temperature was too high. (He had an elevated temp. of 99.6, but he said he felt fine and he didn't even feel warm to the touch. How bizarre...)

Anyway, that's about all that's going on with us right now. Love and hugs to all our family and friends! We hope you're all doing well! :) Until next time...

Saturday, August 15, 2009

One Year And Counting...!

Wow! It's unreal to me that a whole year has already gone by! Jake had his 12-month check up this last Thursday. His pediatrician says he is doing wonderful! She actually laughed when she came in the room. She said he looks like he's so much bigger, but he's actually only in the 25th percentile for both height and weight. He's maintaining consistently, though, and that's the important thing. Little man weighed in at just a few ounces shy of the 22 pound mark, and he's 28 in. long. He's completely off the bottle now, and doing fantastic on whole milk. He eats only table food, and I am thrilled beyond words that Jake is soooo not a picky eater! He loves vegetables (green beans and carrots are his favorites), pasta, grilled cheese sandwiches, shrimp, chicken, and most especially...french fries! :) He's even starting to walk some now!!! He'll take cautious steps as long as he's holding on to something, so now we've got to work at helping find the courage to take those steps without holding on. The doc says it's just a matter of when he's ready to go for it. The little fellow can even climb a little now! (So not looking forward to the next few months as those climbing skills become more advanced.) He has to wear swimpants in the tub now, though. I'll just leave up to you to figure out why...

The rest of us are doing great, too! I think Jonathan's potty training is finally complete!!! He announces (loudly) when he needs to go. He seldom has any accidents anymore--I think I've only counted about 2 in the last month or so. He's even to the point where he tries to go by himself! (I've been looking forward to this point for quite some time, but strangely now that it's here, I'm not too sure I'm ready for this.) Jonathan starts AWANA (a Bible club for kids) as a Cubbie in just a couple of weeks. His vocabulary has grown so much over the past few months. That boy talks in both phrases and complete thoughts now, and most of it even makes sense most of the time! His climbing skills are becoming more advanced, too. He can climb on top of his toy box now. He likes to get up there so he can see out the window. We have to keep a pretty close eye on him, though; he likes to climb on his dresser, too, and that's just a little too dangerous. John's job is going well--keeping him busy. Now that we're fast approaching Fall, audit season is kicking into full swing. He's been taking golf lessons for about the last month. His last lesson is this afternoon. The lessons seem to be helping him improve his game. He really seems to enjoy golf, and that makes me happy. :) And as for me, I'm still enjoying being a stay-at-home mom. I love watching my boys grow and learn a little more every day. I am so blessed in so many ways!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Fab Five Reunion

The Whole Gang: (front-Jacob Merriss, Aurora Hanna, Chevii Birkenfeld, Elizabeth Campbell, Likin Birkenfeld
(middle-Jennifer Merriss, Taira Hanna, *Daniel Campbell, Marcia Campbell, *Yesenia Campbell
(back-Jonathan Merriss, *John Merriss, *Michael Hanna, Abigail Hanna, Daniel Neie, Ryan Neie, *Nikkie Neie, Natalie Neie
{* in front of name indicates original Fab Five member}

The John Merriss Family

The Kids of the Fab Five: Jacob Merriss (front), Lizzie Campbell (standing, in the yellow), Abby Hanna (behind Jacob), Jonathan Merriss (in stripes), Rory Hanna (sitting), Linkin Birkenfeld (facing Jonathan), & Ryan Neie (Natalie Neie & Chevii Birkenfeld are off camera.)

What an exciting couple of weeks it's been! John's best friends from high school--Michael Hanna (who actually lives here, so he really didn't come into town), Daniel Campbell, Nikki Neie, & Yesenia Birkenfeld, aka (with John) the Fab Five--came into town with their families and we were blessed to get to spend some time with all of them. All five of them have kids now, so we got all the kids together for playdates. We got to go out to eat with them a couple of times. We had a big group photo session--which turned out awesome! (I'll post a few pics from that as soon as I can.) It all culminated in a big reunion dinner last Wednesday night.
It is really something that all five of them have managed to stay close over the years since high school. They are all truly amazing people, and John and I are so blessed to have them be part of our lives. Friends really are forever! :)

Oh What Fun, Look Who's One...!

The Birthday Boy!!!

Jonathan helped blow out the candle...

His first taste of cupcake...It took him a while to get the hang of it.

Icing Mustache

Now he's got it!

Jake's Gifts

Grandma Merriss & Nana

Daddy & Papa Merriss

Grammy & Jonathan

Grandmama ("Mama Jo"), Granddaddy, & Paw-Paw Davis

Aunt Kristin & Uncle Marshall

Opening Presents

He stood on his head for the 1st time!!!

Big Brother just had to give it a try! I tried to get them to do it together, but Jake wouldn't cooperate with me...

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Jacob's 1st Birthday

Well, it's official. My baby boy turned one last Wednesday. It was kind of bittersweet, really. It's so hard to believe that a whole year has already gone by. Jakey's birthday was on July 29, but we offically celebrated with a little family get together at my parents' house on August 1. Instead of a cake, my mom and I baked cupcakes for the occcasion--Rainbow Party Sprinkles topped with vanilla frosting. (We figured cupcakes would be easier for a little one to handle.) Everything turned out really nice. The only downside was that the day before his party, Jacob came down with a bit of a fever, which he ran all weekend long. Needless to say, the birthday boy didn't feel so great at his own party. He was not nearly as grumpy as I thought he was going to be, though. Mostly I think he was just tired that day. He's cutting all four of his molars at one time. (Yeah, fun times!) We've also good friends come into town over the last week, and we've been blessed to be able to spend a little time with them. We're having a big reunion dinner tomorrow night--complete with group pictures and everything. I have pics from Jacob's party, and there will also be the studio pics and pics from all the get-togethers with our friends. I'll get them all posted just as soon as I can!